Meet our Citizen Scientists
An army of volunteer citizen scientists around Australia have been collecting and tracking bird data for decades. Since 1998 these bird-lovers have amassed over 14 million records conducted over 900,000 surveys!
Our volunteers are invaluable to the work we do – hear about it first hand
And meet some of the volunteers who have created one of Australia’s largest biological datasets….
Location:? Mount Gambier, South Australia
Years volunteering: 15
“I grew up camping and spending time in the outdoors with parents that loved birds. I renewed my interest in birds and the environment after my father passed away and I inherited his bird books.
What I enjoy most about monitoring is the feeling of contributing to our knowledge of our wonderful birds - not just watching them but putting that data and learned knowledge to good use. A great experience contributing to such a worthwhile citizen science project.
When I’m not surveying birds, I enjoy spending time with my family, listening to good music and enjoying a good red wine, reading books, and exploring a new found interest in photography.”
Location:? Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Years volunteering: 17
“I left the U.K to go to Kenya to work in 1968.? From the first day I could not believe the beauty and variety of the birds there, and have been passionate about them ever since.
I now live on 5 acres in the Red Centre with my husband. We have native vegetation all around and the bird life is quite amazing.
What I enjoy most about bird monitoring is that it takes me to new places to explore, gives me time to actually watch what birds are doing, makes me remember what I see, and make note of birds wherever I am.”
Location:? Marlo, Victoria
Years volunteering: 11
“My interest in birds began in? primary school as a member of the? Gould League of Bird Lovers, then scout camps, holidays on the family farm and meeting Ian McCann and Cliff Beauglehole when teaching in Stawell.
Taking part in BirdLife Australia’s structured monitoring has allowed me to use my knowledge as a geographer to work with like minded people on a range of regional and national initiatives, including the Beach-nesting Birds program and Shorebirds 2020. It also has the bonus of keeping me socially and physically active.
I enjoy travelling anywhere in Australia that involves bushwalking, camping and fishing together with a developing interest in bird and orchid photography.”
Location:? Rockhampton, Queensland
Years volunteering: 13
“As a youngster in the UK I was always out walking in the countryside and that is when I took an interest in the birds. When I came to Australia my passion was seriously ignited by the wonderful variety of birds here.
What I enjoy the most about bird monitoring is knowing that I am doing something concrete to help with bird conservation. The data collected also informs me about the dynamics of local bird populations and the best places to see specific species. Being out in the environment keeps me informed about what is happening to habitat.?
I also like nothing better than a good book, usually one about birds.”
Location:? Newcastle, NSW
Years volunteering: 16
“My interest in birds was ignited when I moved to the east coast in 1981 - initially I just wanted to put the correct names to the flora and fauna in my new neighbourhood. Once you start looking closely at birds, you get hooked!
At a personal level, monitoring helps grow my understanding about the birds at specific sites. At a big-picture level, I enjoy contributing to better knowledge about Australian native birds and how to look after them.
When I’m not watching the Sydney Swans or with my head in a book, I’m usually thinking about birds. I write poems about them, produce crosswords about them, and write papers about them.”
Location:? Crows Nest, Queensland
Years volunteering: 35
“My earliest memories as a child are of “yellow-bellies” on the lawn, turtle doves calling from electricity wires, and feeding canaries with shivery grass.
I joined The Royal Australasian Ornithological Union (now BirdLife Australia) in 1980 to take part in a? surveying trip to the Barkly Tableland. I attended the Congress in Katherine and many more since. Bird monitoring and finding plants is something husband Grahame and I can do together, so is the focus of many of our road trips away.
I enjoy handcrafts, volunteering at the Hampton Information Centre, gardening (with the birds), and writing”
Location:? Bateau Bay NSW?
Years volunteering: 13
“By 10, I was sold on wild birds! A primary school teacher triggered my passion - he brought to school mounted specimens of birds from the Australian Museum and talked to us about them.
Taking part in bird surveys gets me out bird watching on a regular basis, and I can see how bird populations change over time. I enjoy playing my part in documenting changes so that Birdlife Australia has up to date data to present to Government Agencies & others about the impact that proposed developments may have on bird populations.
I am a retired National Parks and Wildlife Service Regional Manager & a retired guide for a birdwatching tour company. My wife and I spent a lot of time with our four grandsons, nurturing their birdwatching skills!”